A bit of good news for those forced into a Twilight Zone-esque loop of reliving the Fallout 3 main quest’s final, anticlimactic seconds ad nauseam: the game’s upcoming “Broken Steel” DLC pack will remove its game-halting point-of-no-return.
And, as if the opportunity to spend eternity wandering an irradiated hell weren’t enough, Bethesda also intends to sow some growing room into your character’s jammies. Ten levels of growing room, to be exact.
"We plan on raising [the level cap] to level 30 - but it will be a long, hard climb to get there," Bethesda lead DLC producer Jeff Gardiner told Eurogamer.
The apparent increased leveling time should have many players sighing with relief, as ascending mountains of fallen foes to an absolute peak of level 20 wasn’t exactly difficult in a game of Fallout 3’s scale.
However, we have to ask: Why release the Broken Steel content pack – or at least a few of its features -- in March, after the other two content packs, titled “Operation: Anchorage” and “The Pitt,” have already come and gone? After all, many players have characters mired in save points near the game’s currently inescapable ending, while others hit the level cap long ago. Will they now be forced to resist the DLC’s allure until March if they wish to enjoy it to its fullest?
Google’s Chrome has made an impressive showing on the web browser market, and has even been named the “Speed King.” And it wouldn’t be like Google to leave it alone, either. With the announcement of their beta for Chrome 2, they’re looking to add some simple things that they hope will make a big difference.
First up, is form autocomplete. Something that Google considers “one of the most obvious missing features from the initial release,” will finally make a debut. Also added will be a full-page zoom, autoscroll, and profiles. Profiles will be “a great way to separate Chrome’s settings in different categories: you could create a work profile with its own homepage, boomarks and browsing history and a profile for your personal projects.”
While the first few features will be nice, the profiles sound like a great addition. Being able to manage a few different sets of information easily will be mighty substantial.
Have you been anticipating the public launch of Windows 7 beta? You're far from alone. At the Microsoft CES keynote two days ago, Steve Ballmer announced the upcoming OS would be made available in beta form to the general populace today, but the high demand temporarily knocked out both the Windows 7 download page and Microsoft's homepage, TGDaily reports.
Windows 7, which many are hoping will atone for Vista's sins, has gotten off to a rocky start in its pre-release form. MSDN and TechNet subscribers got first crack at the Windows 7 beta build 7000 yesterday, but some downloaders reported receiving errors when attempting to request product keys for the OS. But if the final product -- which Microsoft won't commit to a 2009 launch -- makes common complaints with Vista a thing of the past, most enthusiasts would agree it will be well worth the wait.
Protip: It might be in your best interest to snag a copy of Windows 7 beta and actively test the OS, even if beta testing really isn't your bag. Official beta testers who downloaded Vista back when it was in beta form and submitted at least one bug report ended up being rewarded with a free copy of Vista Business or Ultimate. That doesn't guarantee Microsoft will do the same with Windows 7, so decide for yourself is the risk is worth the potential worth reward.
Justin Kerr has posted an awesome mini-tutorial on how and where to get the Windows 7 beta up and running with a valid key. Check it out here.
Did you know that more Wi-Fi networks are out there than what your computer can normally see? It's true. But depending on the security settings of the wireless network and its overall signal strength, you might not see these alternate options pop up in the standard Windows network settings dialogue. That's where Wi-Fi scanning applications like NetStumbler or inSSIDer come into play. That, and they're the best way you go about cataloging all the hotspots in your neighborhood from the passenger seat of your moving vehicle.
Click the link, and we'll show you how you can use inSSIDer to find out valuable information about the wireless networks floating around you right now!
The wait’s nearly over, but it’s not going down without a fight. Today, developer Relic confirmed that Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II, its long-awaited RTS sequel, will take back the tabletop on February 23. However, should your need to… er, what were we saying? Sorry, we got distracted by some wicked-awesome Dawn of War II screenshots and realized that we’d really like to play the game before its relea...
On January 28, Relic will finally let its armor-clad, gun-toting progeny wander outside its baby-pen for a quick open beta. Even better, those who purchased the final Dawn of War expansion, Soulstorm, can expect beta access on January 21.
The beta will give players a chance to poke and prod all four of the game’s races across five multiplayer maps. Steam and Games for Windows Live are teaming up to put on this peep show, with Steam providing the downloads and GFW the matchmaking.
So then, we’re just going to sleep for the next 456 hours, because we’re not into the whole waiting thing. You, er, probably won’t even notice.
Microsoft is not too keen on rolling out an underdone Windows 7 and will only proceed with its launch when it is sure that the OS is ready. This is the reason it is not committing to a 2009 launch date. Microsoft’s Bill Veghte told Cnet that the OS will be shipped when the quality is up to scratch.
However, Microsoft hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a 2009 launch. Veghte also said that investors expect the company to spend judiciously on advertising and there is a need to make the most of the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on the marketing of Windows 7.
Microsoft’s CES keynote was, as expected, light on megaton gaming news, but a somewhat small – though undeniably interesting -- gem did manage to escape from Microsoft’s warchest. Titled Kodu, this easy-to-use game-creation tool is operated with only the Xbox 360 controller. However, based on a demonstration given during the keynote, Kodu could very well relegate games like LittleBigPlanet to the musty back corner of the toy box. Said MPC’s own Will Smith upon viewing the demo:
“The kid doing the Kodu demo (Sparrow) is hardcore with the radial menus. I forget how awesome they are if they're fast enough that you can actually use them. She was using the radial menus to adjust items in her game world. These are incredibly deep radial menus, compared to other apps. This is a pretty impressive tool, and she's controlling it entirely using the Xbox controller. There are lots of little games in the world.”
According to a Microsoft press release, Kodu’s colorful vistas are “expressed in physical action-reaction terms, using basic concepts like vision, hearing and time to control your character’s behavior.” Sounds pretty wicked.
Kodu launches this spring on the Xbox Live Community Games Channel.
See the rest of Microsoft’s game-related announcements after the break.
According to Mathhew Robert Young, a state prisoner at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Oregon, he's the one responsible for virtualization technology (VT), which was stolen from him by both Steve Jobs and Intel. Young says he told Jobs about the technology, and when Jobs never responded to an alleged offer to buy the intellectual property for $250 million, Young pitched it to Intel, allowing the chip maker to make VT work with its Core 2 Duo processors. In a civil action suit filed with the U.S. District Court in Oregon, Young says he's entitled to $5 billion and claims he can prove his allegations with a live demonstration.
"Pro se plaintiff is the only person in the world at present who knows how to make both the [Core-2 Duo micro processor, and the Virtual Technology] work, and pro se plaintiff can in fact come before this U S District Court and prove it by a factual DEMONSTRATION," and that "plaintiff declares here that this action is a JUST cause, and not for harassment purposes," Young wrote in his court filing.
In a separate but perhaps related matter (and by 'perhaps,' we really mean 'definitely'), Young is also claiming he is being "unlawfully held and restrained of his liberty and freedom in the Snake River Correctional Institution," which has also been brought to civil action.
He revealed that he successfully gained access to the account of a female Twitter staffer named “Crystal.” He had serendipitously stumbled upon her account and had no idea that she was a Twitter staff member with administrative control. He then proceeded to hack her account using a dictionary attack.
The program didn’t have to break a sweat as she was using the password “happiness.” Her flimsy password coupled with Twitter’s primeval security, which allows rapid-fire log-in attempts, led to several high profile Twitter accounts, including the ones belonging to President-elect Barack Obama and Fox News, being compromised.
After a two-month brush with death (which may or may not have involved dueling a Balrog), Tribes 2 once again walks among us. However, the jetpack-heavy multiplayer shooter has cast aside its old, Sierra-shuttered servers in favor of a new robo-brain provided by an enigmatic group known as “TribesNext”.
Fortunately, TribesNext’s rule is a benevolent one, and Tribes 2 remains completely free – as it has been since 2004.
Whether you’re a death-frisbee spewing Tribes vet or simply think Left 4 Dead should fling you six feet into the air instead of six feet under, Tribes 2 is definitely a great game. Give the TribesNext beta a download here.